Healing Habits: How To Nourish Your Body & Mind From The Inside Out
Clodagh O'Mahony·October 06, 2021
You’ve no doubt heard the phrase you are what you eat. We believe you are what you consume. That means everything from the foods you eat, to the TV shows you watch, and the books you read, make up who you are and how you behave.
It’s as simple as this: What you allow into your body and mind ultimately affects the energy you give to the world and it’s up to you to choose the things that nourish, energise, uplift and inspire you.
Feeding the Body
Your dietary habits have been scientifically proven to affect your brain structure at a chemical and psychological level, leading to changes in the way we think, feel and behave. In fact, 90 percent of the body’s receptors for serotonin (the hormone responsible for stabilising your mood and improving feelings of happiness and wellbeing) are in our gut.
When you eat plenty of healthy whole foods you balance bacteria in the gut, keeping your moods more balanced. On the other hand, if you consume an excess of highly processed foods it throws your serotonin hormone off its course, impacting how you respond to life’s daily stresses in the process.
Feeding The Mind
But it’s not just the body that needs proper nourishment. Our minds are continually programmed by the influences around us too.
In fact, everyday activities, like reading, watching TV, and journaling, are believed to trigger a trance-like hypnotic state. In this state, your subconscious mind becomes highly suggestible and is quite literally being shaped by what you’re giving your attention to, be it good or bad.
Over time, the way you choose to nourish your mind impacts your thinking. Gradually, these thoughts become your beliefs, and ultimately these beliefs impact your behaviour and the outcomes you experience in life. It all starts with what you choose to expose your mind to on a daily basis.
How To Nourish Your Mind And Body
Plan your meals in advance
Quick question: At the end of a busy day, do you A, look aimlessly into your fridge and try to put together something that looks like a meal, or B, grab your phone and order your favourite takeaway because you’re JUST. TOO. TIRED. to think?
Last minute decisions like what to eat can drain your mental energy so, if you often find food choices a struggle you need to plan ahead. The Head Plan Nourish is a weekly planning pad that will help you plan and get on top of your nourishment needs as you mindfully plan your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for the week. We've also got you covered with our removable shopping list so you'll never miss that item in the supermarket again. There are so many benefits to meal planning that we know you will experience as soon as you start.
Another benefit? A meal plan clears up some mental space, allowing you to focus on your main tasks and priorities throughout the week, and powers your body to perform at its best.
Remember this, you don’t need to eat ‘perfectly’, swear off some of your favourite foods or vow to never order a takeaway again. Nourishing your body is about creating a balance between eating nutritious foods that energise and sustain you and making room for some treats along the way.
While you’re at it, be sure to fill your Daily Drench bottle and sip at it throughout the day. Science shows even slight dehydration can negatively affect your mood, so sip sip hooray.
Read Inspiring Books
Personal development books are a little like plant food. Just like those powerful sachets that allow your house plants to thrive, reading books packed with wisdom empowers you to flourish and grow.
To get the most from this transformational habit, you could set yourself a challenge to read one personal development book a month or aim to read 10 pages a night. Wondering how to choose the right one for you? Think about what you really need to learn right now? Perhaps you’re figuring out how to build a new habit, need motivation to make a change or want to know how to eliminate a limiting belief.
The more you expose your mind to this kind of content, the more you’re giving it the tools it needs to create an inspirational story of your own. Personal development books are a great reminder of what is possible, so go ahead and nourish your mind by making a commitment to continual learning.
It probably sounds a little counterintuitive, but taking a break from your thoughts is a great way to nourish not just your mind, but your body too. Our minds are constantly moving with niggling worries, persistent doubts, and a lengthy list of tasks and to-dos. Together these thoughts can compound feelings of stress and anxiety which can have a knock-on effect on the body.
Meditation is a little like escapism. Think of it as taking a short vacation from the constant mental chatter and aim to do it daily. You don’t need to sit cross-legged on your bed for an hour –you can find a place of peace and calm in as little as five minutes.
If you find meditation tough and struggling to clear your mind of thoughts? Remember this: When you’re meditating, it’s totally normal for random thoughts to pop into your head. The trick is to view them as passing clouds. When you notice them, refocus on your breath and just let them pass on by.
Fill your mind with gratitude
Gratitude is one of the highest vibration emotions there is, proven to nourish the body and mind by reducing stress, anxiety and low moods, and even offering physical health benefits.
How can you make gratitude a nourishing daily habit? Use your The Head Plan Gratitude Journal to write down three things you’re grateful for at the start of each day. You can even recap your favourite moments before bed, take note of what you’re most excited for, and refer back to your list anytime you need a pick me up.
The really exciting bit? When you’re really grateful for what you have, you’ll end up having more to be grateful for. Why so? Because by focusing on the positive you train your brain to be on the lookout for more of the same.
Watch out for energy drains
Let us ask you a question: If a particular food made you feel ill every time you consumed it, would you continue to eat it? Probably not, right? The same goes for your daily habits. If indulging in true crime marathons, tuning into the 9 o’clock news, or scrolling on Instagram before bed is making you feel bad, it’s time to turn those habits around.
Start paying attention to how your daily activities make you feel. Have you noticed that watching the news leaves you feeling angry, scared, or down? Think about whether you really want to keep watching it. Feeling utterly consumed by feelings of comparison after time online? Put screen time controls in place.
Remember if it doesn’t nourish you, let it go.
Nourish and thrive…
You wouldn’t put diesel into a petrol car and expect it to get you from A to B. Likewise, you wouldn’t fuel your body and mind with junk food and negative thoughts and expect them to perform at their peak.
The good news? Feeding your body and your mind in a way that feels good doesn’t require a massive overhaul of your habits. Rather, it’s an opportunity to make subtle daily shifts and see how you feel.
So begin right now and ask yourself this: what do I need to heal, flourish and grow? The answer to that question could be the key that unlocks your next level self.